VW T4 Forum - VW T5 Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I have read many a thread about solar installations.
My quandary is, I have an original steel ribbed roof which I don't want to drill holes in as it is carpeted etc.
I know many have glued with satisfaction but all are on poptop rooves.
I have 2 options.
1) Bond to the high spots or bond in the corners and use silicone in the centre to make removal easier in the event of failure or
2) Bond plastic mounts to the roof and bolt the panel to them.

if number 1, i need a semi flexible panel (3mm thick) the if 2, either semi flexible or framed (30mm thick).

My question to you is, if you have done either with you metal roof, would you mind uploading a photo and/or share some knowledge please?

Thanking you kindly for reading.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,474 Posts
I dont see much difference between a steel roof and a fibreglass pop top if they have the same profile, as you are still bonding to the paint, well you are if the pop top is painted, mine is.

I have three lines of adhesive holding mine on the pop top, which is the same profile as the original roof.

I bonded mine on as I wanted to keep a low profile.

Some people put a clear wrap panel on first and then bond it on.

For cable entry, if you have barn doors you can use one of the blanking holes for the tailgate hinges.
 

·
2012 180 Sportline SWB Camper
Joined
·
1,144 Posts
I had a photonic universe 100w Sika flexed to my tin top for 3 years before I had an Austops fitted and a 120W stuck to that.

No problems either way.

T:
 

·
Want Electrics? Go Wildebus!
Joined
·
8,174 Posts
The approach I took on all my own Campers was to fit rails and to then fit the panels to the rails rather than to the roof directly. Also makes any panel servicing/replacement much easier.
The T5 with its factory prepped mounts already there lends itself perfectly to this approach. On my T5 I didn't use a drop of adhesive or drill a single hole in the roof for the solar installation. Got a summary of three different rail-mounted solar installs here - https://www.wildebus.com/solar-install/ - The T5 is in the middle and is probably the most 'stealthy' one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
152 Posts
I put mine on top of my roof rails and ran the wiring via a waterproof plug/socket to make disconnecting easy (plug/socket was from a yacht chandlers so it is well waterproof). I used "well nuts" (as used on motorcycles to hold fairings, screen etc on), into the roof rails and fitted security torx screws to fasten. To take it off I just undo the four screws, disconnect the plug, refit the cover onto the plug/socket and lift off.



She may not be the prettiest but its function over form for me every time !!!

Good luck

p.s.
Had an interesting reply to a question I asked of Victron Energy the solar crew yestaerday. I said I have a 100w panel and am considering adding a 50w panel (its going to have to go on top of my roof box as that's the only space I have left). They told me to wire it up in series with the original not in parallel or even better to ditch the 100w panel, replace it with 2 X 50w panels and wire the 3 panels in series as this would provide greater efficiency and I would start getting charge into my battery earlier in the morning as the voltage would rise above the 1 volt above battery voltage to enable their smartsolar mppt controller to start charging (I have their 75/15 mppt smartsolar controller in my setup).

D.E.D.
T:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all.
I think currently it is looking like, Photonic Universe 120W flexible, with a Victor Smart MPPT controller. I was concerned about over heating and de-lamination.

Are your glued ones open at the edges to allow air/rainwater etc to flow freely, or have you sealed them in around the edges?
 

·
Special Rapporteur
Joined
·
9,798 Posts
I was concerned about over heating and de-lamination.

Are your glued ones open at the edges to allow air/rainwater etc to flow freely, or have you sealed them in around the edges?
As far as I can find out, over-heating is pretty much a non-issue. You may get a temporary, small reduction in efficiency, but with a 120W panel with enough sun on it to get it hot, that's unlikely to be a problem.

On both of the ones I've fitted, I ran a bead of Sikaflex/CT1 around the edge to prevent water getting in. The older of the two is four years old now - no issues with delamination.
 

·
Special Rapporteur
Joined
·
9,798 Posts
Most recent one I fitted was a Bimble Solar 150W panel. Last time I looked it was the best value on the market.

I should add though that my installs have been onto GRP poptop roofs, so I didn't have to worry about the ribs!

We used CT1 sealant/adhesive, plus a clear vinyl under-layer in case we have to peel it off, though it's been on for more than a year now without any issues.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top